11 June 2011
French cut: centre Thomas Trautmann tries a little sleight of hand
Perth-Bayswater first grade proved their enormous heart and tenacity at Pat O'Hara Reserve today, lifting in the final minutes of a tight see-saw game to steal a late win over Cottesloe, 26-24.
There were patches of inspired play by Perth throughout the game and their energy and aggression were obvious, but errors, turnovers and wobbly set pieces meant they had to work overtime to score against a slick Cottesloe guided by two-time PG Hampshire winner, superboot Dave Cloete.
After an even first ten minutes, a pair of penalty kicks to touch took Perth-Bayswater downfield. The boys in black mauled up the middle where a break by inside centre Mike Lee took him over the line to score under the bar. Centre Thomas Trautmann converted from in front for a 7-0 lead after ten minutes.
But after a promising restart by Perth, Cottesloe rebounded and from a scrum in the far corner, surged over for a try. The successful sideline conversion drew the game 7-7 after 16 minutes.
Perth were soon back on attack, rucking up the middle of the field to catch Cottesloe offside, and Trautmann landed an angled penalty goal to go ahead 10-7 after 21 minutes.
With the lineouts misfiring, a rash of turnovers and even losing a tighthead scrum, Perth worked hard to gain an edge in territory but struggled to do anything with it.
Power Mac: blindside flanker Mac Heke takes it up
A comedy of errors unfolded as Cottesloe worked back to Perth's 22, a knock on in goal gifted the Seagulls with a perfect attacking platform and feeble tackling handed them an afternoon stroll through the backline defence for a try. The angled conversion was successful and the visitors took a 14-10 lead into the break a minute later.
Perth did their best to rise to the occasion as the second spell opened and had one shining chance with an intercept down the sideline after seven minutes, but wing Dylan Johnson-Timu was brought down short of the line and the referee awarded Cott a mystery penalty to relieve the pressure.
But Perth had their tails up and hammered Cott in their half, only a blatant professional foul — an offside tackle into the side of the attacking ruck on the line — preventing the try under the bar. The Seagulls got off lightly with a penalty from dead in front, converted by Trautmann, but it was small recompense after 15 minutes at 14-13.
Then Perth turned over Cott ball out wide and ran for the corner, stealing scrum ball to force a penalty in midfield only for the kick to be steered wide after 20 minutes. But a second penalty minutes later from Trautmann from the other side of the posts was perfect and Perth snuck ahead 16-14.
The lead was short-lived, Cott landing a 40 metre penalty minutes later to retake the lead 17-16.
Thanks to Dave Withnell for the images. See more at www.davewhitnell.com
Perth moved back onto attack to pressure the visitors but errors again let Cott off the hook to move downfield where a simple run down the sideline through soft tackling gifted them what looked like the winning try. The conversion gave Cott a 24-16 lead with five minutes to play and the game seemed lost.
But to their credit Perth refused to accept defeat and charged back into the game. With minutes on the clock halfback Ethan Carlisle again proved the difference, charging down a Cott clearing kick and following up to touch down under the bar. However Trautmann's sitter conversion still left Perth one point adrift with time running out.
But Perth threw everything at the visitors and again the most blatant, cheating, professional fouls by Cott prevented the winning score and could well have deserved a penalty try, and again Perth had to settle for a sitter Trautmann penalty to steal a last minute lead, 26-24.
Cott finished on attack but knocked on and Perth kicked out on the full to claim an inspirational, edge-of-the-seat win.
The game signals the end of the first half of the season and although the team currently sits at sixth in the competition, there isn't a lot between second and seventh place and the second half of the season is wide open. Perth-Bayswater have again showed their never-say-die attitude can threaten any team on the day and with a lower error rate and increased composure should set their sights on the finals with confidence and determination.
Coach Rex George said the team had worked hard to come back from recent disappointments.
"We've had a lot of soul searching over the last couple of weeks," Rex said.
"We've worked hard on fitness, we had the hardest training we've ever had on Tuesday. We worked on respecting the ball, ball retention drills, it's a matter of personal skills.
"We start well, and we finish well as we showed today, but it's the parts in between. Basic errors are letting us down, turnovers at the wrong time, all those little mistakes that put us under pressure."
Rex said that although the team had occasional problems in the tight and the loose, there was enough positive ball to take the game to Cottesloe.
"We got our fair share of the ball today and we talked at half time about holding onto it and building those phases, getting continuity and straightening our attack.
"The boys fired up at the end and that came from our training, pushing past the threshhold. It's a belief thing and there was plenty left at the end."
Rex paid tribute to halfback Ethan Carlisle who again sparked a late revival with enterprising play, and the team's commitment for the full game.
"Ethan, he's young and he's still learning but he got us back into the game and you can't coach talent like that.
"And the team stayed in there for the full eighty minutes, they hung in there.
"I'm rapt. To beat Cottesloe is huge, I still think they're the sleeping giants of the competition. This is the start of the second round for us, that was our plan. By the time we play Cottesloe next time, we'll know exactly where we are."
Seconds defeated Cottesloe 17-11 at Pat O'Hara, keeping in touch with the top four at fifth place. Seconds led 12-6 at half time with two tries to wing Mike Newman and a conversion by halfback Mark Hill but Cottesloe came back early in the second spell with a try to close in at 12-11. Seconds worked hard to close out the remainder of the game and midway through the half lock Luke Della Vedova threw away the tight five playbook and kicked ahead into Cott's 22, and was on hand when the ball was collected close to the try line to plunge over and score for the 17-11 win.
Thirds had their best result to date with a narrow 20-17 loss to Cottesloe.
Fourths outdid first grade's last minute win with a mighty sideline penalty kick by Shane "Bar-Fridge" Barr after full time to whip the result from under Cottesloe's noses and win 8-5.
Under 20s suffered an embarrassing low point in their match against Cottesloe, letting a 20-0 lead slip through their fingers to eventually lose 24-20. Under 20s were 15-0 up at half time with tries to fullback Jordan Tou, lock James Eliasehewsky and number 8 Tiri Arnold-McDonald, sticking to the game plan with the wind behind them and playing with good continuity.
Under 20s scored after the break through a try to wing Jack Garrett and seemed on course for a good win despite a number of player changes at half time, but then lost their way and struggled to regain momentum, conceding three unanswered tries for a humiliating loss.
Under 18s maintained their unbeaten record and number one position in the competition with a close 17-15 win over Cottesloe. They were 10-3 up at half time in a solid and even game that was tightly contested throughout. The team spent 20 minutes defending their line in the second half with fierce tackling and toughed out a solid win. The points came from a penalty and two converted tries to wing Ivan Nicholson and fullback Landre Te Kahu.
The Women's team had a bye.